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977.2 02 


M. L. 




3 1833 02302 3093 

istorv of Mechanics 


Published un<ier the auspices of 

Mefiianicsburg, Indiana 

13563 J 9 

Copyright, 1907, bv Emily Weeks. 

To the memory of my sister. 


whose life teas spent among 

a ad fen Hit people of 




The following' history was written for 
the Qui Vive Club, and read before that 
organization by the author, \\ e found 
the paper ol too great historical value to 
be lost and decided to preserve it in this 
form, hoping that others, as well as mem- 
bers of the Ciub, may enjoy it, 


History of Mechanicsburg. 

NLY a few generations ago, where our village 
now stands, the virgin forest covered the land 
and gave shelter to the deer, the fox, and to wild 
birds innumerable, The stillness oi the night was 
often broken by the rushing feet and hideous cry of a 
pack of hungry wolves. Here the Hiawathas hunted, 
smoked, wooed and won their Minnehahas. En- 
croaching civilization forced the Indian Avestward and 
felled the forest. The wigwam gave way to the set- 
tler's cabin and little patches of maize were superced- 
ed by broad, fields oi gram. 

Among the pioneers who bought of the govern- 
ment the land now comprising the village of Mechan- 
icsburg and vicinity were the brothers Peter. George, 
John, Jacob and Daniel Keesling, who came from 
Ohio m 18-28. Thomas Hasty entered his land June, 
183 1. John Bonham, of Tennessee, entered his land 
north of town November 9, 1831; and five days later, 
Archibald Dunbar entered a tract of land south of 
town. Mr. Dunbar in 1841 sold the east half to 
Samml Alspaw. The west half lie had sold in 1840 
to Martin Shatter and John Raper. Mr. Shaffer sold 
his interest to Mr. Raper. who, in 1842, sold to Na- 
than Murphy. In 1865 Mr. Murphy sold to Elihu 
Swain and N\ R. Elliott, and the following year he 
moved to Ogden, Ca!vin F, Keesling bought Elihu 
Swain's interest in 1875 and lived here until 1880 


6 History of Mechdnicsburg 



when he sold to N. R. Elliott and I. W. Cooper. 
Wra, Alexander came from Preble County, Ohio, in 
1833, and entered land upon which the south bail of 
Mechanicsburg was built. Moses Wilhoit came from 
Ohio in 1 831. John Swain. Lewis Swain, and Wil- 
liam Jones came from Tennessee in 1834. The land 
Upon which John Swain settled had been entered No- 
vember 5, 182*). Lewis Swain's land had been en- 
tered by his father, June 8, 1833. William Jones en- 
tered eighty acres, which he soon sold to John Kees- 
ting for $195.00. William Keesling bought this of 
his father, and in 1854 built a home there winch he 
occupied the remainder of his life. It is now owned 
by W. H. Cummins. The east eighty acres of the 
Wm, Keesling farm was entered by John Swain and 
is now owned by W. H. Keesling. Isaac Adarnsou 
came from Tennessee about 1830. Solomon Bills en- 
tered eighty acres of land but soon soul one-half 
to George Keesling, the other hall to Lewis Swain. 
The northern, half of the village was built up- 
on the south-east corner of George Keesling's land 
and the south-west corner of Peter Keeping's land. 

while the southern half was built upon the Alexander 


The first house built upon the land now- 
included in the town was the log farm house in 
which Wm. Alexander lived. Jt stood a few rods 
south-west of Mrs. N. R. Elliott's present homo. 
Later the mam pari of the building was moved to an- 
other lot by |ohn Aispaw. and is at present owned 
and occupied by Mrs. Essie Aispaw. Another pan 






■ 8 




' $ 

M ! 





Peter Keesiing, 1800-1869. 








• 3 









Mrs. Margaret Keesling. 


History oj Mechanicsburg\ y 

ol this building became a pan of the residence owned 
and occupied by Jacob Zirkie until January 29, 1904, 
when it was destroyed by fire. 

Alter much discussion the founders of the town de- 
cided to call it Mechanicsburg. Nearly every 
trade was represented. Among other names consid- 
ered was thai of Petersburg, which some proposed to 
call it in honor of Peter Keesling upon whose land 
the first business house was built. This building whs 

erected by Samuel Keesling, Peter's eldest son, and 

he was assisted by Thomas Murry and Thomas Gra- 
ham. i he building stood in the corner of a field of 
stumps and deadened trees. 

In this building Thomas Dunning opened the first 
store, probably in 184^. it occupied the present site 
ol J. W. Goodwin's dry goods store, Thornton 
Rogers clerked for him. After a time Mr. Dunning 
sold his store to Washington Franklin, who continued 
the business, and with his family occupied the Mrs. 
N. A. Goodwin property. Later, Lewis Swain 

owned this store for a time. 


As early as 1844 a blacksmith shop was located 
where [. \Y. Cooper's residence now stands. The 
charcoal used in the shop was burned by the black- 
smith named Wm. Kepner, and Wm. Alexander. The 

. ...... 

pit was located on or near the site ot J. W, Good- 
win's barn. Later, Isaac Wampler, Wm. Alexan- 
der's son-in-law, had a blacksmith shop on the south- 
east corner, audi lived in a two-story log house on the 
lot. He made plows, in addition to his other work. 


■- — »-*» k— u4U4^^u«: 

History of Mechanicsburg. 


Wm. A is paw afterward occupied this corner with a 
blacksmith shop, and later Wm. Perry worked at the 
cooper trade in the same building. Wm, Wood 
owned a blacksmith shop on East street in 1853, and 
has worked continuously at his trade since that time. 
Some of our citizens remember how they, in child- 
hood , 

"Coming home from school 
Looked in at the open door,' 1 

and in imagination again try to 

''Catch the burning sparks that fly 
Like chaff Iron] the threshing-floor.'" 

Win. Wood's brother, John, learned the trade 
with him, and was a partner for a time. In 1863 
their brother, Isaac Wood, came from Ohio and en- 
tered into a partnership with William which lasted 
until March, 1874. 

January to, 1849, Thomas B. Keesling bought ot 
George Keesiing about three acres of land comprising 
the lots from W. H, Keesling 1 s lot on the north-west 

corner westward to John L, Swam 1 

lot, inclusive. 

The consideration was $25.00. July 1.4 ot the same 
year Thomas Keesling was appointed first post-mas- 
ter of Mechanicsburg. He had built a residence on 
the corner lot, and in this In- lived and kept the post- 
office. The snail was brought once a week from New 
Castle to Cadiz; was carried thence on horseback to 
Mechanicsburg, Ovid, Huntsville and Pendeltom 
Mr. Keesling is now living in San Jose, California 



Abel Silinett was appointed first carrier of 
Mechanicsburg's first daily mail. Tins route was 
established between Mechanicsburg and Middletuwn 
in 1867 and Mr. Sinnett served almost continuous- 
ly for sixteen vears. Lewis Greenlee held a con- 


tract for four years but employed Mr. Sinnett a 
part of his term. He carried passengers and 
packages between the two towns. A. farmer's wife 
or daughter rushing out and handing Mr, Sinnett 
a sample ol calico or lace to match for her in town 
was a familiar sight to the passengers on the mail 
hack. In 1868 Mr. Sinnett and family moved into 
the toll-house one-half mile east of town where thev 
lived for twenty-four years, the first and only keep- 
ers of thai gate. Since 189-2 they have kept a 
hotel in Mechanicsburg. Mr. Sinnett was married 
to Deborah Boram 01 February, 1862. 

Milbura Keesling and Eliza Norman were mar- 
ried m 185:2 and began housekeeping on the VVil- 
liam Adamson farm. In 1854 they moved to Mis- 
souri where they remained lour years. In 1883 
they bought their present home which occupies the 
former site of the old "Skeeter" school house. 
Mr. Keesling and Mr. Sinnett each lived for a 
time in the cabin on Peter Keesling's farm. It 
was surrounded by an orchard of cherry trees 
which remained many vears after the cabin had 

History of Mechanicsbitrg* () 


Before a church building had been erected the 
Methodists held their meetings in William Alexan- 
der's home It was probably as early as 1843 that a 
hewed log- church was built on George Keesling's 
land opposite the old cemetery. Four or live years 
later a storm carried the upper part oi this building 
down the hill leaving the floor, and walls one log 
high, standing. Jacob Mogul was one of the trus- 
tees of the church, and Solomon Rigger and Stephen 
Norman were two local preachers. During the lor- 
ties lour ministers, named Strighi, Heath, John 
Leach, and Matthew Fennemore, preached in the 
churches of the neighborhood. The Middletown cir- 
cuit oi the Methodist church included Mechanics burg 
and the Bell church three miles west of town. In 
184'.) a Methodist camp-meeting was held in the Bon- 
ham woods where natural slopes formed a fine ampi- 


In the summer of 1853 the German Baptists held 
their annual meeting in Peter Keesling's new barn. 
Some time during the fifties a frame church was 

erected bv the Methodists on the site of the one de- 


stroyed l>v storm. Many of our citizens remember 
attending church services and Sunday-school in this 
building. It was ceiled with wood, and had a large 
pillar in the center oi the room. The S, S. library 
was kept in a little red case which stood directly be- 
neath the high, old-fashioned pulpit. This case had 
been in the log church, and aftej the storm was found 


70 History of Mechanicsburg. 

in its accustomed place. It had not. been overturned 


even when the roof and walls had been lifted and car 

. • 

ried away. Here on Sunday afternoons William 
Perry led a singing class, using the old figure notes. 
Here, too, occurred a thrilling adventure of Daniel 
Rent's childhood, Attending an evening service he 
grew sleepy. Creeping into a dark corner he was 
soon in a sound sleep from which he did not waken 
when the congregation was dismissed. Later, he 
awakened and found, himself alone in the dark 
church with the white stones gleaming across the 
way. Climbing out through a window he rushed like 
the wind past the cemetery and across the little vai- 
lev that lay between the church and the village. 

Eli Rammel preached here in 1853: Benjamin 
Smith, in '55: Philip Stephens, in '56; M, P. 
Armstrong, '57; J. B, Birt, i860; W. S. Bradford, 


'6r» The latter resigned to serve in the Civil 
War: his successor, Nathaniel Brown, also gave up 
the work in a short time and entered the army. 
Next came J, H. McMahon in '62; W, E. McCar- 

ty, '63; I). F. Strxght, '65; J. and O. S. Harri- 
son. : 68; William Anderson and E, Pierce, '6c>; 
William Anderson and VV. H, Meissee, 1870 and 
"71; John Pierce, '72-74; F, A. Fish, '75 and '76; 
P. Carland, '77; j. Thomas, '78 and '80; C. Har- 
vey, '8i and '82; R. B. Powell, '83-85; j. W. Low- 
ery, 'S$ and '87; C. C, Cissell, '88. 

A Methodist church, was built at College Corner 
\U 1888. and the meetings were- then held at that 



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History of 'Mechanicshurg. if 

place until the spring of ^ when they wei 
moved to Mechanicsburg. The pastor for 1904 and 
1905 was Rev. R. F. Smith; tor 1906, F. J. Speck- 
ein. The brick church on North street was erected 


in 1873, It is a union church building in which 
any denomination has the right to hold services. 
A Seventh-day Advent ist congregation was organ- 
ized here January 13, 1874. under the direction of 
Eider S. H. Lane. There were thirteen charter 
members. The membership was afterward increased 
to more than one hundred, but that number has 
been decreased bv removal of memberships to oth- 
er places, by deaths and various causes. 


Before the founding of Mechanics burg : probably 
in the winter of 1835-6, Lewis Swain taught a term 
of school in a log house which stood at the east-- 
ern base of "the mound 1 ' on Miss Eve Keeshng's 
place. A pear tree still standing marks the site. 
In the fall of 1836 Mrs, Susan Payne who lived in 
a cabin on ]ohn Bonhanrs farm, taught school in 
her little home of one room. Among the pupils 
who attended were John "Dan'l" Keesling, Mary 
Keesiine (Luthultz.) Susanna Swain I Weeks, ) John 
Swain, Sallie Swain, Samuel, Harvey and Henry 
Keesling; Jane Keesling 'Nash.) Benjamin, Martin 
and Olia Longbottom; William, Joseph, John and 
Rebecca Bills, Alter eating their noon lunch the 



History of Mechdnicsburg. 


children would rush out to play in the leafy tops 
oi the trees which Mr. Payne was felling about the 
house. John Swain and Mrs. Luthultz, two of the 
pupils, furnish the information concerning these 
earliest schools. A little later, a school-house was 
built on Thomas Hasty's farm, on or near the site 
of Frank Zirkle's house. Some of the teachers here 
were William Swain, Levi Hasty, Mary Lewis (Small) 
and Martha Judd. This was a typical pioneer school- 
house with slabs resting on pins in the wail for 
writing desks, and slab benches for seats. The 
teacher was furnished a splint-bottom chair. An- 
other school-house was built on Charles Mitchell's 
farm. The corner stones still mark the site. 

In the summer of 1854 the first school -house was 
built in Mechanicsburg, The lot upon which it 
stood is now a gravel pit in the western edye of the 
town. The three trustees, Lewis Swain, James 
Wisehart am! John Bonham, hired John F. Polk, 
then a young man twenty-one years of age, to teach 
the first term beginning November 28, 1854. There 
were two months of public school followed by 
two months of private school with more than one 
hundred pupils enrolled, Mr. Polk boarded at 
George Keesling's, and remembers that lie paid for 
board and lodging $2.50 per month. Among the 
older pupils were John Hackney Swain, Rice and 
Amos Keesling, Ezra and Andrew Henshaw, Marcus 
Bonham, Calvin Keesling, George and Mary Hasty,. 
Hugh and Elinor Murphy, Win. and Henry .Swain, 

History of Mechanicsbui g \ 



Margaret Beck and Christena Keesling. At tliis 
time W. H. Keesling's education had its beginning - . 
Hiis father took him to the school house and placed 
him in the hands of the teacher. There was a short- 
lived rebellion on the part of the new pupil when 
his father left the rooni. Commencing in Jui> of 
the following summer: Mr. Polk taught a term ol six 
weeks ior small children oi whom there were sev- 
enty in attendance. For four successive winters 
he taught here, then one in the old "Seminary" at 
Now Castle, then returned and taught another term 
in 1859-60. He again returned and taught during 
"the winter of 1868-9. During an interview, Mr. 
Polk recalled many incidents connected with his ca- 
reer .in Mecha.osc55b.urg. Among others was one that 
proved embarrassing to the new teacher who was 
sensitive about his youthful appearance. At a noon 
recess, only a few days after he began his rirst 
term, he went into Elliott and Swain's store to gel 
chalk, He noticed the men were listening attentive- 
ly to <i man whom he afterward learned was Charles 
Mitchell, the father of L. P. Mitchell, He was talk- 
mg about the .incompetence ol a certain ■ teacher, 
and, noticing the .strange youth who had just en- 
tered, ei\d<r.d his , remarks by saying, "The man is 
no more hi to teach school than this bo> would 
be.'-' Mr. Folk gave vivid descriptions oi the old- 
fashioned spelling-schools™ occasions that taxed the 
ingenuity of the young teacher to keep flown row- 


1 • 

— > 


History of Mechanicsburg 




Drivicl Hunt, assisted by his sister-in-law, Me- 
lissa Elliott (Pennington), taught during the sum- 
mer of 1859,-'" and it is probable that he taught the 
previous winter while Mr. Polk was at New Cas- 
tle, Mr. Hunt lived where Daniel Rent now live^ 
and had a ecu' in which he and Mrs. Hum mad' 
daguerreot\ pe pictures. 

"Mr. Polk left in the spring- of i860. No rec- 
ord can he found for jS6o-l or for 1862-3, but 
some of our citizens remember that about this time 
John Needham, Ezra and Andrew Henshaw, and 

William Watkins taught here 

Benjamin Rogers, 

of Pendleton, and Marcus Bc'nham ffcrtht itt:i-2 
hi rhe spring of '63. just after receiving his dis- 
charge from service in the Civil War. Moses Pow- 
ers taught a term. He also taught in 1863-64 
and 'o4- , 65, closing his last term in June. 1865, 
In his work he was assisted by his wife who won 
the love and confidence o! the children in an un- 
usual degree. At the close ol the winter term in 
1864, Miss Jane Weeden, a friend of Mrs. Bowers, 
came to attend a school "exhibition." She wrote 
some rhymes concerning the pupils and citizens 
which were read on that occasion. Copies of these 
verses arc extant. Mrs. P >wers died in Septem- 
ber, j 003. 

In the fall of 1865 Mary Tyler taught and was 
assisted by her sister, Sarah. Then Sarah went 
to the Painter school and taught during the win- 
ter while Mattie- Junes ( Charles) took her place here 





JoSm F. Folk. 

.-■j* a 

History of Mechanicsbuig* i$ 

as assistant, The following summer Miss Tyler, 
who was a woman oi strong personality and one who 
inspired her pupils with an ambition to make the 
10 <st oi their opportunities, taught a term for ad- 
vanced pupils: a "select school.'' The old church 
on the bill was vised for a school-room, The fol- 
lowing pupils attended: -Mary Keesling-Wood, Sa- 
rah Miller, Sarah Weeks-Huston, Charity Wise- 
hart- Davis, Elizabeth Wisehart -Franklin, Mars 
B jck - Ellii, Sarah Perry - Rent • Nannie Tucker- 
Dudding, Sarah Williams- Rent. America Willams- 
Gipe, Mattie Fatic-Keesling. Leander P. Mitch- 
ell, Charlej Wood, John Hasty, Calvin Franklin, 

The list oi teachers from this date until the pres- 
ent time i:-> as follows:™" 

Ezra Bufkin and Bettie Keesling, i866r7: Wal- 
ter Boor and L. P. Mitchell taught the first term 
in the two-story frame building in '67-68; John P. 
Polk, Anthon) S. Huston, '68-69: L. P. Mitchell, \\ ;. 
11. Keesling, '69-70: Enos Adamson, Sarah A. Weeks 
1870-71: Harvey Hollenbeck, Emma Cook '71-72: 
Enos Adamson, Sarah Weeks '72-73; A. S. Hus- 
ton, Sarah Weeks - Huston '73-74; Henn A. Len- 
nard, Henry Fatic '74-75: Henry Lennard, Sarah. 
Huston '75-76; Henry Lennard, Elizabeth Weeks 
'76-77; George L, Swain, Nettie Vanwinkle '77-78: 
A. J, Larue, Elizabeth Weeks '78-79. Mr. Larue 
resigned and Joseph Painter was employed to fin- 
ish the term. C, B, Pendleton, Elizabeth Weeks 
'79-80: W. W .Prig;*, Elizabeth Werks [88o-8i; 

im™ — 


History oj Xhchanicshurg 


Lurthi K, Ginn, Elizabeth \Veeks !8'2-8;< and 'H3- 
S4; W, W. Prigg, Hattie Cooper '84-85: \V. W, 
Prigg, Gora Brown and Ada [J pes '85-86: W. W. 
Prigs', Charles A. .Pendleton '8(1,87. Mary Wat- 
ers and Alios Guyer taught the first term in the 
brick school. building, '87-88; \Y. W. Prigg, O. M. 
Keesling; '88-89; Emily Weeks, O. M. Keesling '89- 
■jo: Firmly Weeks,, Vienna Umhank 1890-91; W. O. 
powers. Laura Bowers --,'91 19?; -John W. Kendall, 
Lulu Rohrback '92*93; j. \\\ Kendall. Lizzie Quig- 
lev '94-1)5: O, M. Keesling, Lizzie (^uigle> '95-96, 
also '.96-9 7 and 'ot-q^S: Thomas A, Barrett, Lizzie 
Ouigley '98-99: T. A. Barrett, Dottie Pendleton 99- 
j-900; C. C. Hardesty, Mary Quigley iqoo-j and 
ii^or-2; O. M. Keesling, Gertrude Seaford 1902-3, 
1903-4, 1904-5; S. C. Brown, Gertrude Sea ford 
l<)05-6; S. C. Brown, Hal he Painter £906-7, 

Many interesting (acts are recorded in an old 
'Record of Proceedings , of 'District School Meet- 
ings." The school director called meetings of the 
legal voters to select the teachers. The school di- 
rector was chosen annually in the same way. The 
first record made in this hook was of a meeting 
held October 6, 1866, at which Frederick Rent was 
chosen director to succeed Isaac Wood. The ob- 
jects of a meeting held November 3, r.866, were, as 
the minutes tell us, "to decide the practicability ol 
repairing the school-house [the old one-story -frame 
building] for the winter school and to designate a 
teacher. Voted thai the following renair.* wii! !.«.• 

History of Mechanicsburg\ 


necessary: Walls to be plastered with one coat where 
the plastering is off; door repaired; stove flue rebuilt; 
dirt banked up around the house so as to thor- 
oughly underpin it, and eight benches to be made. 
Harvey Keesiing agreeing to do the repairing ;\> 
above for the sum of $23.00, the work to be done 
by December 1, 1866." The late Dr. George Has- 
ty served as secretary lor these two meetings. 

Frederick Rent, school director, gave notice that 
he would sell the school house at public auction to 
the highest bidder. June 1, 1867. On that date 
the building now occupied by John D. Swain as a 
residence was sold for $80.00 to Wm, Perry, who 
acted as agent for the Order of Good Templars. 
Wm. Prigg, Si\, was the auctioneer, A new two- 
story frame building was erected, on the site, of the 
old one, during the summer of 1867. 

Among the names of the men who took pari in 
the school meetings in the sixties we rind the fol- 
lowing:— -Dr. George Hasty, Lewis Swain, Isaac 
Franklin, N. R. Elliott, Dr. Wm. Reed, Dr, Joseph 
Weeks, Dr. James Beck, John C. Goodwin, John 
R. Elliott, W. R. Miller, Thomas |. Ginn, fssac 
Wood, John Alspaw, Wm. McCurdy, Fiihu Swam, 
and John Swain. The record gives the following 
list of directors:-— Isaac Wood, 1863: Frederick 
Rent, '66; j. D. Parrel!, '67; Wiilirn Ferry, '68; 
Wdliam McCurdy, '69: W. R. Miller. 1870; Job 
Ginn, '71: Isaac Wood, '72: W. R. Miller, 'jy'7^ 
C. W. Wood. '79; James McCormack. 1880: C. lb 

T$ History of Median irsburg. 

Pendleton, '8i-'83; VV. H. Keesling,'83. Since the 
latter date the township trustee has appointed the 
director, and Mr. Keesling lias continued to ser\'e 
until r.904 when he resigned and was succeeded In 
Horner Wood. 

A steam saw mill was built in iXtjo hv Thomas 
B. Keesling, Elihu and Ezra Swain. It was run 
the first time on July 4th of that year. The ma- 
chinery was bought of Chandler and Davis, India- 
napolis,' and was brought from that citv on trucks, 
At the time a circular saw superceeded (lie old-fash- 
ioned sash" saw the three owners were fohn R. RM- 
lott. Amos Kisling, and William McCormack. Mr, 
Kisling sold his interest to Martin Pring in 187.2. 
William McCormack sold his interest to James Mc- 
Cormack in the spring of '73. Martin Pring sold 
his interest to representatives of a patent water- 
carrier, and Elliott and McCormack soon bought 


this, interest. In 1882 or '8^. McCormack sold to 


KSIiott who now became sole owner. This was oru- 
among the first steam saw nulls built in the coun 
ty. Previous to the building of this mill, George 
Keesling had built a water-power saw mill near his 
home. It was built about 1842, and was operated 
lor several years when tht j re was sufficient water. 
The dam, of which there' are still traces, afforded 
fine skating for the bovs during the winter. John 
Swain, Sr., had built a saw mill in i8"*6 and a nour 
mill in '39 on Fall Creek, north of town. The saw 
mill was abandoned about 1858. The ftour mill was 


.. — .— u*u*ai«iufiaattt 






Mrs. Elizabeth Steesling — "Aunt Betsey." 

. __.^_«v— utiMMOal 

trs. Mary KecsHng-LuthuUz. 

. 1 

History of Mechanicsburg. uj 

replaced by a new building in 1866. The owners 
at that time were Lewis Swain and John Swain. Jr. 
This mill was burned Dec. 17, 1904. 


John R. Elliott came io Mechanicsburg about 
1850. He worked at the carpenter trade until 
1854, when he began work in the saw mill with 
which he was connected tor forty years. Mr. Ell- 
iott died in 1904. Mrs, Elliott still lives in the old 
home on East Street, 

Efthu Swain, in 1851, had the house built 
which he occupied until his death in 1875, John R. 
Elliott was one of: the carpenters. Mr. Swain was 
one of the three men who built the saw mill. For 
a number of years he was in partnership with N. 
E. Elliott in a dry goods store. Mrs. Swain died 
in [900. /ffi 

NiMuoo K. Elliott moved to Mechanicsburg 
in 1851 and worked at the carpenter trade for a 
year or Uv.>. then' opened a little store. Soon 
he and Ezra Swain entered into a partnership which 
lasted seven Years. Then Elihu Swam was a part- 
ner for a number of years, 1. W. Cooper was m 
partnership with Mr. Elliott from [873 until 1891. 
Mr. Elliott finally retired from the mercantile busi- 
ness in 1894. His first, store was burned in 1863, 
A frame building was moved to the site of tin 



History oj Median iishurg. 

burned one. and in six weeks Mr. Elliott was again 
selling goods. This latter building gave place in 
r868 to the brick building now occupied by Scot) 
Lewis' dry goods and and grocers store. Mr. Ell- 
iott's death accurred in January. 1905, Mrs, Ell- 
iott still resides in the home on West Street. 

Thomas B. Keesunu, in 1853, built <t house 
on West Street. This he soon sold to James Small 
who occupied it until 1857 when, he sold to Dr. Jo- 
seph Weeks. 

Wm. R. McW'ii.i iams in 1852, lived in the house 
which stood just east of T. B. Keeslings. He was 
a harness-maker, and worked in a shop on the 
same lot. Me sold to John Kelly who sold to 
Calvin F. Keesling. In 1864 C. F. Keesling sold 
to William Aispaw, who, in turn, sold to Mrs. Anne 
Swam, ii! 1866. Lewis Greenlee bought this prop- 
erty in r86g arid resided here until 1880 when ht 
sold to W. A. Greenly who. the same year, sold 
to Levi M. Keesling. Mi", Keesling owned it until 
1892 when he sold to Dr. Weeks. The house was 
moved to the east side oi the lot, remodeled for 
an office, and occupied b\ Dr. Elizabeth Weeks un- 
til 1901 when 1! was burned. 

Ezra Swain, from 1844 t:> 1830 was coxmected 
with the Swain flour mill. in [850 he, in partner- 
ship with others, built the saw mill, Ji was proba- 
bly in '52 that he and X. U. Elliott opened a lit- 


History of Media n icsbu rg. 21 

tie store with a combined cash capital of £300. 
This partnership lasted seven years. Then after 
farming one year, Mr; Swain boughi the store and 
residence on the north-east coiner. This property 
he sold to John C. Goodwin and Isaac Franklin 
in 1865, and in April of that year moved to Nobles- 
ville, Mr. Swain died in April, 1898; Mrs. Swam 
in February, 1902. 

William Alexander moved from the log house 
built when he entered his land, into a new two-Story 
frame house in 1853. This house is where Mrs. N. 
R. Elliott now lives. 

Elza Swain lived here from 1850-54. He built 
the house which lob Ginn now owns and occupies, 
This propertv he sold to William Sharp and moved 
to Liberty, Indiana, where he enlisted in the Civil 
War. He gave up his life in defending the Union. 

Joshua Crisher came in the early fifties. He 
was a cabinet-maker, and made burial caskets. For 
many years they kept hotel on South Street. They 
moved to Knight'stown, where Mr. Crisher died. 


John Alspaw, also a cabinet-maker, came from 
Ohio in 1856. lie died in 1905 at the age of nine- 
ty -one. 

Frederick Rent on the first day of the year 1852 
moved with his family from Ohio, to which slate 
lie had come from Pennsylvania. Both parents and 



riisto ry of Me xka )i icsbu ig\ 





children used thee German language. He bought 
property of John P. Cooper, and added two rooms 
to the house one of which he used tor a shea- 
shop. Here Mr, Ken! lived anil worked, with the 
exception of the time he spent in defending the 
Union, until his death which occurred in 1871. Mrs. 
Kent lived until 1889, Who among the children 
ot their old neighbors does not remember the bird 
and annua! cookies: with which 'Granny Rent'' 
added to their Christmas joys ? 


William Wood and Betsey Tucker -w r ere married 
in 1833. As soon as tin- new home, already begun, 
could be finished they moved into the house which 
has been their home lor more than half a century. 
Mrs. Wood remembers that John !). Cooper, fa- 
miliarly known as "Tine/' had built the '* Grand- 
father Mann house ' and had moved into it only 
three days before she came to her new home: that 
fhornas B. Keesling had built and was occupying 
die Weeks home; that Mr. Maloaey, a tailor, was 
:>ceupyuig the fust house east of T. B, Keesiing's; 
that Ezra Swain lived in the W> It, Miller house: 
that fiavilah Adarnson, Win. Alexander's son-in-law, 
Lived in a cottage which stood (in the 'site of W. 
•T. Keesiing's. residence; that Dr, Hopkins lived 
where Mrs, Sarah Keesling now lives; Geo. White 
bad just built and moved into the house which Dr. 
William Heed afterward owned and occupied; X. R. 
Elliott lived where I. W. Cooper now lives: Joshua 



k ., | 




o ! 

■ ! 












k: ! 

■ Vj 
















History of Median icsburg. 23 

Crisher. Hiram Brattain and Jackson Wisehart 
lived 011 South Street; Washington Franklin lived 
o! the Mrs, N. A. Goodwin property. 

Dr. James Beck came to Mechanicsburg in April, 

1854, and lived in the house now owned by Mrs. 

|Kezia Upp. He was appointed Post-Master June, 

I1S56, and served until October, '62. [n 1872 he 

moved to Fairmount, and thence to Elwood where 

he died in 1882. Mrs. Beck died at Kokomo, Feb- 

• ruarv 2. 1000. 

.Lewis Greenlee married Marietta Wood and 

moved to Meehaxiiesburs in 18*4. Thev moved 

l-away in '5'j. but returned in '<'wt. They went to 

jMarkleville in 1880 at which place Mr. Greenlee 

died in 1900. Mrs. Greenlee . now resides in Mid- 

tdletov. n. 

John C Goodwin came to Mechanicsburg about 
iH^j and entered into partnership with L. G. 
Greenlee in the shoe business. He and Isaac 

^Franklin in 1865, bought Ezra Swain's store. Mr. 

.-Franklin Post-Master and kept the Office in 
the store. In 1868 Mr, Goodwin became sole 
owner and continued the business until his death 
which occurred in 1870. Then Samuel H., the 


eldest son, assumed charge until ill health com- 
peiled him to give up work. Charles S., the sec- 
ond son, returned irom Beloit, Wis., where he had 
received mercantile training and took charge of the 


History of Mechanicsbiirg 


store in 1876. A new brick building was erected 
on the site of the old store in 18S0, and in 
1882 the firm name became N. A. Goodwin & 
Sons. In 1879 Charles was married to Lizzie E, 
Swain, His death occurred in January, 1886. Mr£, 
Goodwin now resides in New Castle. John \V . 
Goodwin the third son has continued the business. 
He married Lucy McCormack, and they began 
housekeeping in the John L. Swain property. Sic 
bought his present home on North Street in 1885. 
Mr, Goodwin ordered tour rocking chairs Lor the 
holiday trade in 1880. Selling these he sent in 

larger orders and was so successful in this line 
that lie bought W. K, Miller's stock of furniture 
and later that of David Weaver. Prom this small 
beginning grew the furniture store located in the 
building erected by Mr. Goodwin on West Street 
in 1902, Mrs. Goodwin died May 30, 1907. Mrs. 
Nancy Goodwin still resides in the house which 
has been her home since 1869. 

Jonathan M, Lf-'.vvts in '56 built the house now 
occupied by Abel Sinnett and after living in it 
tour years sold to Cabin F. Keeslsng, Mr. 
Lewis was a carpenter and built a number of 
houses in town, For many years past he has jived 
on his farm southeast of town. 

Dr. Joseph Weeks began practicing medicine 

in 1 84.7. Me was married to Susanna Swains 
in 1.849. He moved to Mechantcshurg in '50 and 

History of Mechanicsburg. 

the following year bought the home- in which In 
still resides, Mrs. Weeks died July 2, 1901. A 
number of successful physicians were students j 1 . 
his office at Mechanics burg", Among them wen 
Drs. William Reed, George Hasty, John Need- 
ham, T. W. Gronendyke, j. M. Thurston, C. K. 
Wood. W. M, Rix, F. L. Stone, A. S. Huston, 
C. B. Pendleton, j. O. Lowman,. Elizabeth Weeks, 
W. D. McCormack, 


lou Ginn and Elizabeth Rent were married in 

1858 and began housekeeping in the home which 

thev still occupv. Mr. Ginn war* one of the earU 

carpenters whose substantial work is stiii in evj- 

Dk. W. M. Rix .married Catherine Miller in 1864, 

Thev moved from here in 187; or 'j± and wen 


living in Muncie at the time of Dr. Rix's death. 

Dr. George Hasty's boyhood was spent 01: 
3 1 is father's farm. Sometime during the fifties hi 
studied medicine under Dr. Weeks. In tSoo he 
was elected to a professorship in the Cincinnati 
Physio-Medical Institute, He practiced inedicint 
in Mechanicsburg until 1872 when he moved to In- 
dianapolis where hi- was one of the founders of th< 
Physio-Medical College of Indiana. Dr. Masts 
was connected with this college almost continuous!} 
until his death winch occurred in 1005, Mrs, 
■ Hasty still lives in Indianapolis. 





History of Mechanksburg 

George White married Elizabeth Keesling. 
A'ter living in Mechanics burg a lew years they 
moved to Hamilton County but afterward returned 
and bought the John Keesling farm. They lived 
here until 1879 when they moved to Kansas. Mr. 
White died in 10,00. Mis White resides in To- 

William R. Miller, in 1859. moved into the 
house which is his present home. For many years 
he manufactured pumps and chairs. He also had 
an undertaking establishment in connection with 
his other work. His son L, O, Miller was in 
partnership with him lor several years. The Mil- 
ler home was a favorite stopping place with the 
early "circuit riders'' of the M. E. church. Mrs. 
Miller died in October, 1904, 

Jacob Brows, a wagon maker, was located on 
West Street during the fifties. He sold to Lind- 
ley Allen; Moses Lindamood, also a wagon mak- 
er, was here a little later. During the fifties there 
lived in town Burris Personett a carpenter, fames 
Wood a blacksmith, Joseph Groves a tinner, John 
1>. Cooper and John P. Cooper, both carpenters, 
Hiram Short a mechanic. 

Dr. William Reed moved from Warrington and 
practiced medicine from 1864 to '"2, Afterward he 
looked after Ids farming interests aitho he contin- 
ued to reside in his home on East Street until his 



Ezra Swain. 1822-1898. 

. .-. u«i<i 

History of Mechanics burg 27 

A .-i" f \\ ii')m/<K n/>r'nrr/<«! V* n^'iV 1 1 *-* Vat r /-\/~* r Aire Ft? 1 W 1. 1 

death which occurred February, iqoi. Mrs. Ree< 
died it) 1894. 

housekeeping in a cottage west oi Elliott's store. 
This building has since been converted into a vvare- 
room, After' a clerkship of seven years Mr. Coop- 
er entered into a partnership with Mr. Elliott 
which lasted eighteen years. They built their 
present home in 1883. 

James D., Farrell came to Mechanics burg in 


[mla W. Coopeh began work as salesman in 

N. H. Elliott's store, March, 1866. The following 

vear he married Sarah E. Hunt and thev began 

- - ' ! 

September, '66, He had a dnig store on the north- 
west corner and resided m the house now occupied 
by Mis. N, R. Elliott. Mr. Fan-ell and family re- 
turned to Middletown September, '68. There were two 
successive i rug stores on this corner between the 
years 1868 and 1871, the first belonging to John 
Trout the Second to Ezra and Samuel Bufkin, 

Amos Killing worked in his father's saw mill 
and on the home farm until his enlistment in the 
Civil War. Lat^r he bought an interest i« the 
steam saw mill in town. He was married to Rhoda 

M. Swain in 1867 and the following year buiit 
their present home, Mr. Kisiing devotes much 
attention to fruit-growing 


Daniel Rent worked at the carpenter trade 
both before and after bis service in the Civil War. 

28 History of Mechanicsburg 


David Hodson, a harness-maker, marries! Sarah 
Tarklesom and lived on North Street during the 
sixties. They moved to Anderson where Mr. 
Hodson died a number ol years ago. Mrs. Bod- 
son died in 1 907. 

Wh.i.;am McCurdv, a harness-maker, served in 
the Civil War. He moved to Markleville in 1887 
where he died December, 1900. Mrs. McCurdy died 
m May, X907. 

Isaac VVoojj, a blacksmith, came with his family 
from Ohio in 1863 and resided in the house now 
occupied by Abel Sinnett. He worked in partner- 
ship with William Wood until 1874, He then 
studied and practiced medicine, Their son Charles 
E. studied medicine, but practiced only a short 
time when his work was ended by death in 1874. 

En os Aimmson lived on his farm north of town 

In 1869 he married Sarah Williams who died in 
•72". They began housekeeping in a cottage on the 
site oi his present,, home which was built in '88, 
Mr, Rent was married to Sarah C, Graham in '74. 
He was appointed Post-Master in '98 and served 
until the Post-Office was abolished in 1907. 

Dr. John Nhedham was married to Christena 
Keesling in '58, They moved to Mechanicsburg in 
'6o where he studied medicine in the office of ins. 
Weeks and. Hasty: in '62 located at New Castle; in 
'86 moved to California where he died July, 1004. 

History of Mechanicsburg .?g 

but taught a number of school terms here during 
the seventies. Ho was the first Superintendent of 
the Henry County Schools. It was probably in '72 
that he was elected Superintendent to succeed 
Clarkson Davis who was the last man to hold the 
ofhee of County Examiner, Mr. Adamson intro- 
duced the graded system into the district schools 
and was severely censured by many 01 the ieach- 
ers for "tr-ving to introduce citv methods into coun- 
trv schools." His work stands justified today. 
Mr. Adamson died in 18";^, Mrs, Adamson is stii! 

Dr. William R. Swain lived here during the 
seventies- He served as post-master from April 187S 
to September, '79. His death occurred September 8, 
1879. Mrs. Swain died in 1900. 

Calvin F. Keesling married Martha White and 
located in Mechanicsbury;.. Jn i860 lie bought and 
occupied the house built by Jonathan M. Lewis. 
Later he lived on East Street. He moved to Ham- 
ilton County but returned in 1875 and bought the 
Nathan Murphy place* They lived here until 1880 
when they went to Noblesville where they still re- 


Riley Alexander married Amanda Alspaw and 
during the sixties lived where Daniel Rent now 
lives, Mr. Alexander served in t he Civil War. 
They now reside in Fulton County. 

- - 


jo History of Meckanic'sburg 

James Alexander married Ellen, daughter of Wm. 
Als'paw; He lost his life in the Civil War. Mrs. 
Alexander afterward married VV. IL Eiler an at- 
torney, and now lives at Warsaw, Indiana. 

Cyrus Wood came to Mechanicsburg in Octo- 
her. 1867, and went into partnership with Lewis 
Greenlee; was married to Mary Keesling, in 1869; 
built the house now owned bv Charles F, Keesling 
in 1874, and lived there until 1S97 when he built 
their present home. He opened a harness shop in 
1882 which he sold to Scott Lewis in 1906. Re- 
cently Mr. Wood is devoting his attention to his 
farming interests. 

John L. Swain, son of Elza Swain, came 10 
Mechanicsburg soon after the close ol the Civil 
War in which he served. He was married to Re- 
becca Alspaw, October, 1869. For manv vears he 
has followed his trade as plasterer and brick-layer. 

William H. Keeslino taught in the Mechanics- 
burg school as assistant to L. P. Mitchell in 1869- 
'70. In October, 1870, he was married to Sarah j. 
Cooper who died June, 1881, Mr. Keesling opened 
a grocery store* -September 1, 1871, on the north- 
west corner in the building erected bv T. B. Kees- 
ling in 1849. During the summer of 1871 the 
building had been lengthened and the I. O. O. F. 
had added a . second story to be used as a hall. 
Five years later, Mr. Keesling added a hardware 
department in an adjoining building, "ribs build- 

History of Mechanicsburg 

3 1 

111%, had been moved to its present site and was 
originally the two-story iarm house of George Kees- 
ling. Both buildings and a large part of the stock 
of goods was burned in the disastrous fire of De- 
cember 1901. Mr. Keesling continued business in 
the Odd Fellows' Block on South Street until 1905 
when he removed his goods to the south-east cor- 
ner, his present location, ' He lived for a number 
of years in a cottage on the Site of his present 
home which was built in 2884, W. H. Keesling 
was married to Nan janett Miller February 18, 

Dr. John E. Canaday in November, 1872, came 
to Mechaniesburg to succeed the late Dr, George 
Hasty who was moving to Indianapolis, Dr, Can- 
ad ay remembers that he came the day alter Gen- 
era! Grant was elected president. He bought the 
home which Dr. Hasty had built, and remained in 
Mechanicsburg until after the death of Mrs. Can- 
aday whicl - occurred in 1874. i>r. Canaday after- 
ward abandoned the profession of medicine tor 
business and is now a. member of the firm ot 
Ritchie, Stein and Canaday. furniture dealers at 

Jacob Fa tic, a stock buyer; married Margaret 
Beck. They sold the farm which Isaac Myer now 
owns and built, in 1872, the brick residence which 
was their home until Mr, Fatic's death in 1898. 

Anthony S. Huston was married to Sarah A. 

■$2 History of Meckanicsburg 

Weeks November, 1872; bought and moved into the 
Rent property in '73; studied medicine; moved to 
Pendleton in 1876 where he remained until '89 
when he located in Anderson. Dr. Huston died 

December, 1894. 


George D. Rent and Sarah Perry were married 
in 4868, but: soon moved. near Pendleton, Indiana, 
where they are stiil living, 

James McCormack, in the spring of 1.873, bought 
an interest in the saw mil! and moved to town; in 
'74. bought Dr. Canaday's property and moved into 
it; in '82 or '83 sold his interest in the mil! to 

John R. Kl iott. and in '85 moved to Cadiz. Mr. 
and Mrs. McCormack are now living at Kennard. 

Dk. F. L. Stone studied medicine in Dr. Weeks' 
office, and located here in August. 1874. lie left 
in '79. but returned in ^885 and remained until De- 
cember, 1889, when they moved to Pendleton their 
present home. Dr, Stone married AnuctSwain, 

John came from Franklin County in 
1869. He bought j. C. Goodwin's property on 
North Street and resided there until he moved to 
Elwood in '79. Mr. Greenlee died in 1902, ami 
Mrs. Greeniee survived him only a few months. 

Michael Mann came to Mechanicsburg in 1865 
or '66. Mrs. Mann died in 1870. A lew years later 
Mr. Mann married Mrs. Sarah Hawkins. Alter her 
death ""Grandfather" went to live with relatives. 

History of Median ic<hurg\ jj 

and his life was almost rounded out to a century. 

William Htnshaw sold his farm north of town 
and, in January, 1876, moved to the "Rent prop- 
erty," bought of A. S. Huston. Mr. Hinshaw 
died in May of the same year, and his wife, Mary 
Key-Hinshaw, died August, 1897. The two daugh- 
ters, Eliza and Jennie Hmshaw still live in this 

William A. Greenlee married Isadore Kees- 
bng. He owned a shoe shop, and served as post- 
master from 1876-78. Mr. Greenlee is now a har- 
ness dealer in Middletown. 

Levi M. KeeslIkg was in Kentucky from 1875 
to '77. He was salesman in VV. H. Keesling : s 
store from 1870 to 1895, He moved to Middletown 
m '95 and is there engaged in the grocery business. 

David Weaver, a cabinet-maker, came to Me- 
chanicsburg in August, 1879, and moved to Wil- 
kinson in '86. He now resides in Middletown 


Luther O. Miller married Florence Wood in 
1878; lived in the John C. Goodwin property and 
later in the property now occupied by Abel Simiett. 
They moved to Middletown in 1892, and recemiv 
located in Muncie. Mr. Miller is a contractor and 

George W. Up* and family came from Ohio to 
Indiana in 1872 and moved to Mechanicsburg in 


j./ His to ry of Media n icsbu rg. 

1878. Mr. Upp, who had served in the Civil War 
died in 1879. Mrs. Upp is still living on East 

j. M. Newkirk came to Meehanicsburg in 1879 

and remained until '89. Captain Newkirk died in 

Yorktown, Indiana, July 26, 1906. Mrs. Newkirk 
resides in Anderson. 

William D. Brown, a blacksmith, came in 1875. 
He married Emma L., daughter oi Rnos Adamson. 
They lived here from 1878 until 1880. They now 
reside in Middletown. 

Alonzo Hhown carrie here in the winter oi 1879 
and for more than a year carried the mail between 
this place and Middletown. They lived at Markle- 
ville a short time then -returned and Mr. Brown 
clerked in Dr. Moore's drugstore. He soon bought 
the store and kept it until '93, when lie sold the 
stock of goods to Allen Fatic. Mr. Brown and 
family reside on South Street in the home built in 


Dr. Curtis B. Pendleton studied' medicine in 
the office of Dr. Weeks and attended the Physio- 


Medical College of Indiana. He began the prac- 
tice of medicine in 1880. He married Flora Reed 
and commenced housekeeping on TOast Street. Then, 
they moved to the house now occupied by Mrs. 
Sarah Keesling where they lived until 1887. That 
year he built a residence on North Street which, in 
1903, he sold to Dr. W. L. Miseoer. He then 


History of Mechanicsburg. jj 

built a home on his farm west o{ town where they 
now reside. 

Dr. John W. Moore married Bettie Keesling 
in 1869. He came from New Castle and began to 
practice medicine litre in February, 1880. He lived 

where Abel Sinnett now lives a&tr had a drug" store 

and office on West Street, September, 1885, lie re- 

turned to New Castle where Mrs. Moore died. Dr. 

Moore is now located at Mexico, Indiana. 

Dr. Elizabeth Weeks studied medicine in her 
father's office. She graduated from the Physio- 
Medical College of Indiana, in 1886 after which 
she practiced medicine in Meehaoicsburg, Her death 
occurred in August, 1004. 

[ 4Cob Zirkxe married Marv Williams April, 
1881. They began housekeeping in the fall ot that 
vear in a house which stood east of then- present 


home but upon the same lot. Mi. and Mrs. Zir- 
kle took charge of the local switch-board of the 
Mechanicsburg. Markleville and Emporia Telephone 
Co. March 14, 1901, and still hold the position. 
Their home, in which the' telephone switch-board 
was located, was burned January, 1Q04. and was 
immediately rebuilt. 

Curtis Eeliotj and Laura Lovett were married 
in 188'^ and went to housekeeping on Mast Street. 

Mr. Elliott died in 1800, and Mrs. Elliott in i3op 


B. K, Pickering and Cora Wood were married 

■- -™.-n« WTWWftawn(|W 

36 History of Mechanicsburg. 

in 1803, They moved to Noblesville in November 
'98, and returnee to Mechanicsburg in March, 1907. 

Charles E. Keesling was married to Minnie 
Showalter in 1884 and the following year moved to 
Mechanicsburg. Alter spending nearly two years 
in Minnesota they returned and Mr. Keesling 
worked at the carpenter trade from ''RH to : q8. He 
bought the Cyrus Wood property in 97. He bought 
lames Ellison's store on the south-east corner. In 
1904-5 he erected a large business building and 
occupied the Sirst floor with a general store. The 
second floor was purchased by the I. O. R. M. 
Mr. Keesling sold his interest to Scott Lewis in the 
spring of '07 and moved to Oakland California, 

George Cooper and Minnie McCurdy were mar- 
ried in i88#. They lived for a time in the John 
L. Swain property. Their present home is at Ge- 
neva, Indiana. 

Curtis Reed married Anna Brown and began 
housekeeping on East Street. He built a home 
there in 1887 which he sold to U. G. Lewis in '95. 
They then moved to their [arm west of. town. 

Thomas Arthur Goodwin was married to Geor- 
giana Howard in 1888, They buift a home on 
North Street in 1890, and moved to Indianapolis, 
their present home, in September, 1900. 

Samuel Cooper and Nannie Smith were married 
in 1890. They are now living in Pendleton. 

History of Methanicsburg j 


Eve Keesuno, daughter oi George and Eliza- 
beth Keesling, in 1878 built a home on North 
Street which she occupied until her death, in May, 
1907. Her mother, "'Aunt Betsey" as she was af- 
fectionately called by all the neighbors, died Au- 
gust, 1876. 

Ambrose E. Fink lived in Meehanicsburg for a 
few years then returned to Tyner City, lnd; f where 
he owns an onion farm. 

Seranus B. Werkield came to Meehanicsburg 
and helped drill our first gas well m 18,88. lie 
nun ricd Jessie Cooper and they kept house on North 
Street until 1902 when the? bought their present 
home, the Elihu Swain property* 

Joe N, Cooj'Ek devoted his attention to fann- 
ing and stock raising. He married Laura True* 
hlood and they began housekeeping where John 
Karmer now lives. They afterward moved to South 
Street whore they lived until Mr. Cooper's death 
September 16, 1904. Mrs. Cooper now lives in 
the home which she built on East Street in 1905, 

William H, Cummins served as salesman in 
N. R, Elliott's store ior a few vears and later was 
with the Lewi:-; Brothers, fie married Mearle 
Cooper and they began housekeeping on East Street 
init soon bought and moved into the Thomas Has- 
ly house. Mr. Cummins anil the Lewis Brothers 
engaged in the buggy and farm implement trade. 


History of Mechanicsburg, 

and in 1H97 Ik- bought U. G. .Lewis' interest in 
the dry goods stoiv. In 1903 he began work as 
traveling salesman lor a carriage company and moved 
to Richmond in August, 1906, where he is inter- 
ested in a carriage factors. 

William Ellison moved to Mechanicsburg 

March, 1894. but continued to look alter his farm 
for a time. Their daughter, Esta, died May, 1.900. 
Mrs. Ellison died May, 1902. Mr, Ellison was en- 
gaged for a time in the dry goods business, and 
clerked in Lewis' store for awhile. He had charge 
of \he mail hack tor several years and was serv- 
ing when the Star Route was discontinued. Mr. El- 
lison was married to Miss Mattie Painter in 1906 
and moved to his farm near Middletown. 

James Ellison married Man Elliott. He clerked 
ior N. R. Elliott and later owned a store on the 
south-east corner. He afterward moved to Markle- 
ville where he owned a store. Mr. Ellison is now 
farming in southern Indiana. 

William Wiseheart, a veteran oi the Civil War, 
has been a resident of Mechanicsburg for a number 
of years, 

Waltem Lowery came to town Eebuary, 1892. 
He bought the "Grandfather Mann house" and oc- 
cupied it until it was destroyed by fire January, 1904. 

Everett Brown married Dora Cook and began 
housekeeping in the house which his grandfather 

; : 

History of Median icsburg jg 

had built in 1851. Mr, .Brown now lives in Broad 
Ripple, Indiana. 

So>tt Lewis married Laura Cook and after 
farming tor a time moved to Mechamcsburg in 1894 
where he and his brother U. G, Lewis had bought 
ihe N. R. Elliott store. They, in partnership with 
W. H. Cummins, put up a building adjoining the 
store and began to deal in, vehicles and farming 
implements. V. G, Lewis soid his interest to the 
others in 18x57. \V. H, Cummins retired in 1904. 
leaving Scott Lewi;; sole proprietor. Since then Mr.. 

Lewis has put up another building and enlarged 
his stock. In the spring of 1907 *VIr. Lewis bought 
Diaries 1L Kees!ing\s store, 

Ulysses G, Lewis married Lucy Keeslingi was 
in partnership with Scott Lewis from 1894 until 
1897; bought Curtis Reed's property on Last Street 
in 1895 and resided there until 1897 when he sold 
his interest in the store and moved to Markjeviile. , j 
Mr. Lewis died September, 18^7, 

Frank Str/H'gh was married to Kent, 1899, 
They went to housekeeping 1901, in the eottage 
north of Amos Kisling's. In 1903 they bought the 

T. A. Goodwin propem and have sinci- rt-iidvd 
there. E<stell came to Meehames'burg in 1895. 
They now live m the W. H, Luii)rn.U}S property, 
which he bought in 1906, 




History of Xfechanicsburg, 

f£n\VA.Rn Hfm'HI'.ks, a blacksmith, came in 189G. 
He recently built a residence and a shop on East 

John Farmek came to town in 1897. and bought 
the house on East Street in which he is still liv- 

Cm. yin \V. Kf.ksi.ixo moved to town in 1901 . 
They bought H home on East Street. 

Gilbert Brown, the barber, was married to Mary 
Huston in 1901. They are living in the W. M. 
Ellison property which they bought in 1906. 

Dk. Walter L, Misenfk came to Mechanics- 
burg April 2, 1901. He was married to Daisy Sum- 
mers June [2 of the same year. They began house- 
keeping in the T. A. Goodwin house, but soon 
bought the j. C. Goodwin cottage which they oc- 
cupied until 1903. Then they purchased Dr, Pen- 
dleton's residence on .North Street, 

Wh.lis Teeteh was married to Luc\ Lev, is in 
1902, and. cane to Mechanicsburg in 1903, Mr, 
Teeter has been employed as salesman us Scott 
Lewis's store since 1904., 

Frank Mr ( >:i>ri.i. married Mary Htaton in 1898. 
The}' came c*< town in 1903, and have since re- 
sided in the Fatic home. 

Mrs. Sarah Keesljng bought be?' present home 

in 1905. 

. ^ . — . .- ^.MunMHMUMlU 

History of Mcchanustnug .// 

John Ai.krioht moved from his farm to a home on 

East Street in 1903. Mrs. Albright died July 7, 1907. 

Curtis Graham and Aurilla Coon were married in 
1905, They lived for a time on East Street but are 

now occupying the Charles F. Keesling property. 

\}\k. H. E. Misknfr came to Mechanicsburg in 
1907, and is living on North Street, 

Among the people who have been residents of the 
town, and have not already been mentioned, art the 
physicians — Rush, Jones, Mitchell, McKillup, Ander- 
son, Oldham, Culipher; carpenters— Joseph Nicode- 
• mus, Thomas Ginn, James Ginn, James Small. John 
Rent, John Gipe, Daniel Davis; wagommakers — Evan 
Jones, Noah McCormack, Henry Gipe. Mr. Farin; 
blacksmiths — James Wood. Michael Davis. Peter 
Crisher, Robert Trout, O. S. Coffin, Jesse Templeton, 
C. Siders: shoe-makers— Isaac Nicodemus (now of 
Fairmount) William Goodwin, Cyrus Mays, Adolphus 
Lynch, Samuel Green; butchers — Joseph Mowery, 
James Lowery; retired fanners — William Pri^g, Sr., 
Thomas Hasty, Greenberry Farmer; carriage-paint- 
er— James Orr; mechanics- — James Alspaw, Otis Hus- 
ton; druggist—Charles Pendleton; also — Rice'Kees- 
ling, John Hackney Swain, Aaron Swain, George 
E-ius ton, John Weeks, Jesse Hewlett, Eldred Cooper, 
George Hoel, Theodore Jester, George W. Hasty, 
George Swope, Charles McCurdy, Charles Courtney, 


42 History of Mechanicsburg 

W. A, Young, Oliver Lodge, Charles Avers, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Tarkleson, Mrs. Bettie Bowman, Mrs. 
Marthena Udell, Gary Jester and Samuel Keesling. 


A complete list of the post -masters of Mechan- 
icsburg, and the date of appointment, is as follows:-- 
Thomas B. Keesling, July 14, 184.9; John C. Good- 
win, November 7, 1855; Jacob Meek, May 21, 1856; 
James Beck, June 11,. 1856; Sieesman Meeker, Oc- 
tober 2, 1862: Isaac Franklin,' October 20, 1864; 
John C. Goodwin, February 2, 1870: Ezra Buikin, 
December 8, 1870; John \Y. McCurdy, June 22, 
1871; Win. A. Greenlee, February 7, 1876; Win, R. 
Swain, April 1, 1878; Luther O. Miller, September 
-25, 1879: C. S. Goodwin, September 16, 1880; J. 
D. Zirklo, September 3, 1886; J, W. Mills, April 
5, 1889: T. A, Goodwin. September ):, 1890; S. S. 
Hopkins, May r, 1894; Daniel Rent, March . ai, 
1898, The ' Star Route : ' was discontinued No- 
vember ri, 1905, and the mail was then brought 
to the post-onice by Isaac Myer a rural route car- 
rier from Middletown. The post-office was abol- 
ished January 15, 1:907, since which time the mail 


is delivered bv carrier. 

The Mechanicsburg Masonic Lodge was organ- 
ized in 1868 and chartered May 25, 1869, The 





Mr. auti Mrs, Thomas IL Kcesiiujj. 
Mechauicsburg's Firs! Tost- Master. 


History of Meckanicsburg 43 

first officers were N. R. Elliott, W. M.; Lewis G. 
Greenlee, S. W.; j. M. Thurston, J. VV. The 
oilier charter members were: Jackson Bushong, I. 
W, Cooper, George Dillinger, John R. Elliott, 
Greenberry Farmer, Isaac Franklin, George Hasty, 
Thomas Hasty, John H, Rent, John Swam, Ross 
Wilkinson, Joseph Weeks, John C. Goodwin. 

The I, O, O. F. Lodge was chartered May" 19, 
1869, with the following members: Squire dinger, 
Thomas S. Feck. William McCurdy, Daniel Rent, 
j. H. Rent, Martin Pring, Job Ginn. The Daugh- 
ters of Rebecca Lodge was organized Jane, 1872. 
The members were: S. C. dinger, S. F. dinger, 
j, H. Rent, Parthena Rem., Martin Pring, Leviria 
Pring, William Perry, M. J. Perry, Job Ginn, 
Elisabeth Gmn, Jacob Keesling, Maria Keesiing, 
Daniel Rent, Sarah Rent. The present membership 
is sixty -two. 

The Red Men's Lodge was instituted April 9, 
1905, with sixty-eight members. They bought the 
second story of Charles Keesling's store in 1905. 
A Pocahontas Lodge w r as organized January 16, 1906. 


The Thespian Society was formed among the 
members of the Order oi Good Templars in 1867. 
The object was to give entertainments to pay tor 
the Templars 1 Hall which was the old one-story 
school-house. The members were J. M. Thurston, 
VV. H, Keesiing, L. P. Mitchell, A. S. Huston, 

r ,, :, V ■ , 

44 History of Mechanicshurg 

The Qui Vivo Club, a progressive, wide-awake 
woman's club, was organized December 12, 1902,. 
with the following charter members: Mrs. Laura 
Cooper, Mrs. Jpsie Hardesty. Miss Emily Weeks, 
Mrs. Nan Janett Keesiing, Miss Blanche Goodwin, 
Miss Elizabeth Weeks, Mrs. Daisy Misener, Miss 
Mary Quigley, Mrs. One Strough, Mrs. Lucy Good- 
win. Other members of the club are the Misses 
Grace and Josephine: Rent. Gertrude Seaford, Win- 
ifred VanWinkle, Vieune Prigg, India Cooper, Virgil 
VanWinkle, Mrs. Edna Lewis. The club, in addi- 
tion to the work of self- improvement, has taken 
hold of the village improvement idea and has 
already secured fire protection for the town. 

Thomas Heck, John Hasty, George Rent, Moses 
Rent, Ida F. Elliott, Mary L. Beck, Sarah C, Perry. 
Dr. j. M. Thurston, now of Richmond, Indiana, 
painted the stage scenery and arranged a stage 
which, though diminutive, closely resembled that of 
a "real theater." This company of inexperienced 
young people played "Richard III" most credit- 
ably with Dr. Thurston in the title role. They 
also played a comedy, "The Persecuted Dutch- 
man." The plays surpassed anything before at- 
tempted by local talent, but in a few days a sha- 
dow was cast over their triumph by the death of 
John Hasty, one of their number. 



- . --.n..i.. V fl.^.^um«wni 





-■ .-* — t-^d 

History of Mechanicsbtirg ./5 

21 n ^ILnunrinm 

August, 1904.- 


May, 1907. 


"'Beneath the low green tent 

Whose curtain never outward swings." 


There was a strong anti-slavery sentiment in 
Nlechanicsburg. The home of John Swain, Sr., 
north ol town was one of the "Underground Rail- 
road Stations,'' Many a negro was brought here 
from Greensboro by Daniel Saint who always came 
in the night, rapped at the door, stepped aside 
where he could not be seen when the door was 
opened, and with a laconic "Here s your goods," 
sped away in the darkness. Mr. Swain, who was a 
staunch anti-slavery Quaker, took the fugitive slave 


in, cared for him and, usually on tin* following night, 
sent him in charge of one of his own sons to the 
next Station. John Swain, Jr., now of Middletown, 
took a number of these slaves to the Back Creek'' 
neighborhood near Fairmount where there was an-' 
other Station. Cater, Lewis Swain's homo served 
as a Station. Mrs. Beulah A. Swain who helped 
care for these slaves had, when a young girl, lis- 
tened to the inspiring words of the noted anti-sla- 


j6 History of Mechanicsbuig 

very speakers. She attended the dedication oi the 
iamous Pennsvh ania Hall" where she saw Wen-' 
dell Phillips, William Llovd Garrison, Charles Bur- 
leigh, the Grirake Sisters, Abbv Kellv and John 
G. Whittier. She heard Luc ret ia Mutt plead for 
the slave from the pulpit and from the platform. 
Mrs, Swain, now eighty-eight years old, has lived 
to see the slave for whom she labored eniov mon 

than iortv years of freedom; 


When the call for men to defend the Union 
came, Meehawicsburg answered gexierously. Com- 
pan\ E. of ilfa 8th InfantrX was mustered into ser- 
vice September 5, 1861, and took the following 
men:— William Pens, Daniel Rent, Samuel Mitch- 
ell, George Tarkleson, James W. Alexander, Wil- 
liam T, Beck, {ohn K. Swam, Garv {ester, Saia- 
thiei Bowers, Ihev took part in the earn pa mm 

against Vicksburg and were then- during the lortv- 


seven davs between tne investment and surrender 


of the city. WiHiam T. Beck was killed May 23, 
1S63. Daniel Kent was wounded at Jackson, Mis- 
sissippi, John K. Swain reached home onl\ to die 
August 22, 186 5, 

Company F. of the ^yth Infantry was recruited 


in October and November, i86r. The following 

men entered service: John H. Kent, Thomas Girm. 

foseph Huston, Josephus V. Elliott, James J. Black, 

Moses Bowers, and Isaac Nicodemus. Henry Als- 








. Mi 

r*T ■ . Hi 

\ .A v ^ (j 

■ ^V v 















% V 



Mrs. Anue Swain. 1 789-1875. 
( Wife of John Swain, Sr.) 

History of Mechanicsburg 




paw served in Company E., Qth Indiana Cavalry. 
In Company H. of the 69th Infantry, were Amos 
Kisling, John R. Elliott, Thomas W. Gronendyke, 
James Edward McCormack, William McCurdy, 
Hugh Murphy, Jonathan Murphy, Isaac Keesling, 
William II. Huston, John Wesley Miller, Robert V. 
Price-, William 33. Henshaw, Nicholas Ginn, Wil- 
liam Wiseheart, W. R. Alexander and Jacob Alspaw. 
This Company went into quarters at Camp Wayne 
Richmond, Indiana, and was mustered into the ser- 
vice of the United States August 19, 1862. At this 
time the Confederates under General Bragg were 
invading Kentucky, One division under General 
Kirliy Smith was sweeping on toward Cincinnati. 
All the regiments then organizing in Indiana and 
Ohio were hurried toward. Among others went the 
69th Regiment only a few days in camp and with- 
out discipline' and drill. On the 20th of August, 
they left Camp Wayne and ten days later took pan 
m the' battle near Richmond, Kentucky- The brave 
but undisciplined Federals were no match for Smith's 
drilled men, and the battle- resulted in the defeat 
oi the' Onion troops. Two members of Company 
II., Robert Price' and William B. Henshaw, were 
killed, seventeen were wounded and fifty were cap- 


The iate John R„ Elliott, first sergeant. 

was wounded and lay unattended on the battle' field 
lor nineteen hours. The prisoners we're- soon re- 
leased on parole and returned home. Tin- patriotic 
women oi MeeJianiesburg gave a ureal dinner te> tin 


H is to ry of Media n icsbu rg, 


returned heroes. A large wagon shop standing on 
or near the site of Dr. Misener's office, after being 
cleared and decorated with the national colors. 
served as a banquet hall. Alter these paroled men 
were exchanged they, in November, went to Mem- 
phis, 'Tennessee. They took part in the assault on 
Chickasaw Bluffs, December 29, and helped in the 
capture of Arkansas Post, January ii, 1863. On 
returning the 69th Regiment encamped at Young's 
Point. Louisiana. This was a low marshy place 
and much sickness followed. Among the many who 
died hire -were William H. Huston, February 20. 
1863, and Isaac 15. Keesling March iS, 1803. At 
Miihkens Bend, La., another marshy encampment. 
William Wesley Miller died May 9, 1863, and 
[ames Edward McCormack died February 18, 1863. 

John R. Elliott was. discharged March, 1863, 
William McCurdy January, 1:865, .Amos Kisling April. 
) %3- William Wiseheart was mustered out May, 
1865. On the 5th o! July, 1865, the 69th Regiment 
was mustered out. 

When Governor .Morton called tor men at the 
time of Morgan's raid the following men went oar 
from our town and vicinity: Dr. George Hasty, first 
lieutenant; W. M. Rix, second lieutenant; Sleesman 
Meeker. John W. Keesling, John Van Buskirk, 
Thomas Beck, Samuel Bowers, Job Ginn, T. W. 
Gronendyke, Eli Keesling, C. F. Keesling, C. F. 
B. Keesling, O. H. M'odlin, W. 11. Prigg, 
William Swain, Henry Swain, Mai tin Wist-- 



History of Mr than icsbu rg j.q 

heart, Reuben Wiseheart. and James Huston. 
Under the call ior ''One Hundred Davs Troops," 
L. P. Mitchell and George D. Kent enlisted in the 
139th Regiment. 


Pioneer Experiences 

Before Mechanicsburg had an existence there was 
a little store about one-half mile west of the pies-. 
< lit sue ol the town. Jonathan Lewis remembers 
that one of his father's neighbors was imprisoned 
on account oi a debt at this store, which was called 
t\\^ Raper Store. The law at that time permitted 
imprisonment ior debt. John Swain, Jr., says the 
first trading he evei did was at Raper's store when 
he exchanged ginseng roots for a pocket-knife. 

When Daniel Keesiing- was examining a tract oi 
land with a view oi entering it, he saw a stranger 
looking over the same tract and apparently hunting 
for a spring; Mr. Keesiing knew he must act quick- 
iv, or lose the land. His brother, Jacob, mime- 
diately saddled a horse and hurried to Indianapolis, 
He secured the land and as he was leaving the 
office met the stranger ascending the steps. Alter 
building ins cabin, Daniel Keesiing was unexpect- 
edly called away one evening and through a mis- 
Biinderstaoding Mrs, Keesiing was left alone all night 
with two small children. There was onls a blanket 
hanging in the doorway and Mr, Keesiing had 
burned a brush pile each nigh! to frighten away 


History of Meckanicsbttrg 

the wild animals that lurked in the wood. On tiu 
night in question Mrs. Keesling ('"Aunt Katie 
Dan'l") climded a ladder with her children to 
some boards which had been laid overhead. She 
spent the night in terror since there was no hie to 
frighten away the hears and wolves and ;io door 
to bar them out. Mrs. Mary Luthultz, now the 
oldest living member of the Keesling family in this 
neighborhood, was one o£ these children. 

A Crusade 

It was probably in the summer of 1858 that a 
man named Snideman, who lived in a log house 
on the site of John Albright's home, bought a bar- 
rel ot whiskey and began to retail it. The women 
soon decided that it must be stopped. One evening a 
little band oi determined women gathered together and 
quietly started to the house of the offender. The man. 
however, had received warning and they found the 
doors fastened, A missing window pane serve;! as 
a poii-holc- through which the defender brandished 

Will IttSlCH li in'illlill HUH, ailU LTlUIIC illllllllll H> |>U1 

the crusaders out by main . f orce. In an unguarded 
moment he tripped and fell to the ground. It is. 
hinted that his fair visitors, taking advantage oi his 
blind rage,, deliberately planned his fall. Some ot 

— i 

History oj Mechanicsbiirg 


their number held Snideman securelj while others 
proceeded to mete out justice. The group ol men 
standing outside the fence waiting to help their 
wives, if necessary, smiled encouragingly to them 
when their victim stopped threatening and began to 
yell 'Murder!'' One lady, in speaking of this in- 
cident, smiled reminiseentiy as she said, "Good land! 
{ wonder^ve didn't leave him entirely bald." Snide- 
man was not now in a position to ask liberal terms 
and agreed to give up the whiskey if allowed tore- 
tain, a certain amount tor his own use. The women 
allowed him to do this, but watched to see th.u he 
took no mure than the specified amount. The men 
then carried the barrel up town and finding the whis- 
key would not burn poured it upon the ground. It is 
said that a thirsty hog gulped some o! it down and 
then iay in a stupor for several hours. The good 
citizens felt sorry for the hog, but thought it not 
so bad for a hog to be in the gutter as it would 
be for their sons to be there. Nathan Murphy, a 
Justice of the Peace, in order to prevent an indictment 
threatened by Snideman, hastily summoned the wom- 
en to appear before him and fined them ONE CENT 
each. One of the guards, also, was fined twenty-five 
cents ior administering a kick. The women who took 
part in this little crusade were Mesdames Frederick 
Rent. John Showers. William Alexander, James Al- 
exander, William Wood, James Small, Ezra Swain, 
Stowe, James Wood. Job Ginn. Mrs. James Alexan- 
der is now Mrs. W. If. Eiter, and lives at Warsaw; 


History of Mechanusburg 

Indiana. Two of the number, Mrs. William Wood 
and Mrs. job Ginn, ate still living in Mechanicsburg 
and furnish the information here given. The others 
have been laid to rest, but the influence of that day's 
weak has ever since kept tin- town lice from saloons. 

Two Fires 

On the night of December 12, 1901, afire origi- 
nated m the Post-Office and v. hen discovered was 
under such headway that neither the- building nor 
contents could be saved. Or. Elizabeth Weeks' 
office stood only a few feet to the west and was 
soon in flames. j. W. Goodwin's furniture store, 
on the east, was blazing in a few minutes arid from' 
this building the flames leaped to W. II. Keesling's 
grocery store, thence to the adjacent, building in 
which hi- kept a stock oi hardware. Next in the 
path of the fire was Charles F-. Keesling's two-story 
workshop. This was soon destroyed and it was only 
by tiie most heroic wcr!< that the (ire was stopped 
here. The building in which the Post-Office was lo- 
cated was the rust business house built in the town, 
and had been moved from the northeast corner to 
\\ est Street. Ol the six buildings burned two have 
been replaced by new ones. J. W. Goodwin built 
a furniture store in 1902 and Charles V . Keesling 
erected a two-story business building in 1004. 

Again on the night oi January 29, 1904. a lire 
originated in Walter M. Lowery's house. Mr. Low- 
es y barely escaped with his life. Jacob Zirkle's 


History of Mechaniciburg 53 

home, just across the alley, was also soon in ashes. 

Mr. Zirkle immediately rebuilt. 

. : 


\V. H. Keesling remembers buying candy in 
, John Kelley's store on West Street but does not re- 
member whether it was a dry goods, drug or gro- 
cery store. Me remembers the candy jar only. 

John Goodwin, growing reminiscent, told how Lu- 
ther Miller, W. A., and "Judge" Greenlee played 
the rife and drums <d evenings during the Hayes cam- 
paign. 'They played to beat the band, it was while 
Henr\ Leonard was teaching school here." 

There are many who remember the delightful days 
when the school-children carried water from "Aunt 
Betsey's Spring.'' We remember the steep banks, 
the crooked tree, the Chester of locusts along the wav, 

and the tiny stream or clear water that ran from the 


spring down the hilbside. Mrs, \V, A. Greenlee re- 
members thai we used to spill the water as we neared 
the school house so that we must return tor more. 
The long hill with the creek at its foot, the blue flags 
that grew by the roadside, and the calamus patch, 
too, were never- tailing sources of pleasure. You re- 
member there was standing on the west bank oi the 

creek an oak that we expected to topple over because 


the earth was crumbling away from its roots. The 
old monarch is stilt defying the storms. Like a senti- 
nel it stands watching over the "City of the Dead" 
where so many of our school-mates be at rest. 

5./ History of Meckanicshurg. 


Among the successful and useful men and women 
whose childhood days were spent in Mechanicsburg 
or on the adjacent farms, mav be mentioned: Benjamin 
Bonham, who served as Secretary of State of Oregon: 
L. P. Mitchell who, since 1898, has been Deputy 
Comptroller A the U. S. Treasury: Mrs. M. E. S. 
Charles, a n Avspaper and magazine writer, Spicelancl; 
the late E. L. Elliott, who was cashier of the Middle- 
town bank, and had served two terms in the state 
legislature; George L. Swain, an attorney of Middle- 
town; Lurtin R. Ginn who, since 1884, has held a 
position in the Treasury Department at Washington; 
Benjamin F. Keesling, proprietor of the Logansport 
Journal; Cornelious B. Keesling, furniture dealer, Ta- 
coma, Wash.; Dr. John Fatic, Judge C. M. Greenlee, 
of the Superior Court, Anderson: John U. Hinshaw, 
teacher and farmer, Monticello; Luther Swain, eon- 
tractor and builder, Otis Keesling', blacksmith, No- 
blesville; Frank Prigg, an attorney of Hutchinson, 
Kansas; Moses Rent, miller, Pendleton: Fremont 
White, carpenter. Oakland, California; Cassius 
White, R. R, clerk, Morton While, bank teller, To- 
peka, Kansas; Wilson Showalter, furniture dealer and 
undertaker, O. P. Greenlee, merchant, W. A. Green- 
lee, harness dealer, Calvin Swain, salesman, Samuel 
Liebhardt, photographer, Zell Swain, attorney, Wil- 
liam and John Liebhardt, proprietors of woolen mills, 
Willis Wiseheart, stock dealer, Owen Swain, super- 
intendent of electric light plant. Earnest Swain, ear- 


History of Mechanicshurg $$ 

penter, Peter Keesling, lumber dealer, James If. 
Keesling, contractor and builder, Ward Cooper, stock 
buyer, Claire Greenlee, harness maker, Jacob Sinnett, 
farming, Eva Mver, stenographer, — Middletown; 
Myrtle Newkirk, professional nurse, William Mc- 
Curdy Jr., mechanic, William Avers and Charles Van- 
Winkle, grocers. Charles Rent, carpenter, Grover 
Katie, teacher. W. M, Swam, restaurateur, Glenn 
Greenlee, shoemaker— "Anderson; Allie Brown, pro- 
prietor of a printing establishment, Portland, Oregon; 
Victor M. Cooper, stock dealer, Pendleton; Annie 
Keesling Williams, formerly cashier at the Battle 
Creek Sanitarium, now a teacher in the Oak wood 


Training School. Huntsville, Alabama; Genevieve 
Moore, who recently graduated from a training school 
tor nurses, Chicago, Illinois; Glenn Eiinshaw, an art 
student in Paris; Ray and Lloyd Keesling who are in 
business in New York City; Asia Murphy, traveling 
salesman, Gurdine Murphy, insurance business, Clif- 
ford Newkirk. florist, Victor A. Swain, engineer at the 
terminal station, Carl M. and Joseph H. Swain, 
plumbers, Harrv Swain, plasterer, Jack Keesling, 
painter— Indianapolis: Williard VanWinkle chief clerk 
in the oar depot of the Santa Fe R. R. at Winslow, 
Arizona; Rolla Myer, teacher, Eugene, Oregon: 
Charles L. Miller, mechanical engineer at Columbus, 
Ohio; Will E. Miller, dentist, Howard Keesling, res- 
taurateur, John Newkirk, glass trade — Shirley; Edgar 
and Earl Ellison, engaged in construction work, Isaac 
Keesling, fruit grower, California; Allen Fatic, grain 

5 6 History o/ Mechanicsburg \ 

dealer, Markleville; Lestie and Laurel Ellison, fann- 
ing in southern Indiana; Porter Cooper, bank clerk, 
Muncie; Ray Cooper, clerk, Illinois: Augustus Green- 
lee, blacksmith, Sulphur Springs; John Harrell, con- 
tractor and carpenter, Winchester; David Keesling 
carpenter, Cadiz; Webster Keesling, farming- near 
Shirley; Samuel and Eddie Keesling, farming, Me- 
chanicsburg; the late Charles Hasty who was a shoe- 
maker at Marion; Joseph Swain, superintendent of 
Boone Park, Louisville, Kentucky: Benjamin Keesiing 
farming, Minnesota; Henry Swain, farming, lugalis; 
Nelson Wiseheart, Clinton Sinnett, Clinton, Vinton 
and Joseph Farmer, Lee Prigg, Ed. Cooper, John 
Cooper, farming — Mechanicsburg; Charles Prigg, gro- 
ceryman. Berry Prigg, dairyman, — Muncie; Jacob 
Swartz, contractor and builder, Benton Swain with 
the I, (..' . Traction Company, VanWinkle and 
Albert Swartz, farming, ---Anderson; William Swartz, 
machinist, Detroit; Charles Alspaw, blacksmith, West 
Alexandria. Ohio: Archie, Russell, and Joseph Kees- 
iing, carpenters, Oakland, California; Stephen Kees- 
iing, farming, h'oone County; Benjamin Franklin. 
machinist, Mechanicsburg; Frank Newkirk, engineer 
for cold storage plant, Sioux City, Iowa; Charles 
Newkirk, stereotypes Sioux Falls, S. D.; Lowell 
Prigg, machinist Seattle, Washington; Guy Kees- 
iing. mechanic, Kirby Prigg, machinist, Gra::e Prigg 
teacher, ■— New Castle. 

Many ol our girls are presiding over homes and 
are thus doing an important part of tin- world's 


History of Mechauicsburg 57 

work. Among this number arc Bettie Miller-Brook- 
shire, Hulda Swain-Anderson, Lena Rent-Laboyteau, 
Kennard; Ida Elliott-Thurston. Libbie Keeslinc - - 
Eaton, Richmond; Mary Beck-Ellis, Florence Swain- 
Conner, Kokorno; Cordelia Swain-Hasty, Marion; 
Annie Swain-Flanigan, Fairmount; Sarah Alspaw- 
Trout, Ethel Ellison-Fadely, Chlote Elliott-Cummins, 
Mabel Koesling-Yost, Sulphur Springs* Sarah Miller, 
Elzena White- VanWinkle, Lottie Keesling-Mauzy, 
Minnie VanWinkle-Cooper, Annie Van Winkle-Lewis, 
Mechf nicsb'urg; Mary White, Topeka: Kansas; Sarah 
Swain-'! 'ark It-son, Charity Wiseheart-Davis, the late 
Elizabeth Wiseheart-Franklih, Lorinda VV'tseheart- 
McWilliams, Mary [Jpp-Keestmg, Jennie Keesling- 
Fatic, Sarah Swain -Fa tie, Mattie Fatic-Keesling. 
Emma Swain-Hendricks, Ruth Hinshaw-Cooper, 
Lydia Kees ling- Weaver, Emily Greenlee-Elliott, 
Ne\ a Swain-Bushong, Bertha Greenlee- Keesling, Jes- 
sie VanWinkle-Cummins— -Middletown; Emma Swain, 
Moblesville; Mary A. Hasty- Personett, Minnesota; 
Rosa Alspaw-Mee, Canton, Ohio; Neva Moore- Kinne- 
man. Goodland; Nora Sinnett-Hinshaw, Greensboro; 
Ada Sinuett-Jester, Fortville: Jennie Murphy-Brag- 
den, Lawtorj, Oklahoma; Sarah Rent-WetjSj Jennie 
Swain-Charles, Helen Prigg-Ginn, Maggie Keesling, 
Annie Swain-.Rodecap s Zoa Myer-Brown, Belle jui- 
iau-Barth! Edna McCormack-Pauley, Louise Ginn- 
Bishop, — Indianapolis: Mary McCurdy-Lloyd, Laura 
Rent-Cunningham, Libbie Greenlee-Mauzy, Markle- 
ville; Alice Sinnett-Gilmore, Fannie Keesling-Cissell, 




56' History of Mechanicsburg 


Homer Wood, Grace and Josephine Rent. Vehna 
Roller, Leon Brown, who is' a student at the State 
University; Jessie Brown, Lawrence Goodwin, who is 
studying at LaFayette; Blanche Goodwin, a student 
at the College of Musical Art. Indianapolis; Imlia 
Cooper, Karl Keesling, Ruth Albright, Truman, 
Charles and Virgie Hendricks, Ha/el Heed. Olive 
Lewis, Gladys Sinnett, Clarence Coon, Norman and 
Thomas Werneld, Imla Cooper, Ceo Pendleton, 

Zannie Swain-Harold, Lottie Prigg-Jester, Eva Myer* 
Gilmore, Bertha Ritchie-Nipp, the late Anna Swartz* 
Graham. Ida Gray-Fatic, Jennie Newkirk- Dennis, 
• — Anderson; Josie Cooper-Toppin, Cortland; Ruby 
Cooper-Mai tin, Hazel Coosxr-Drew, Geneva; Emma 
Greenlee-Osborne, Flora Green Icie-Hileman, N'ettie 
Greenlee-Abbott, Ida Greenilee-Garrigus, Erne Hen- 
shaw-Carter, Pea)} Keesling-Seward, Mary Alspaw- 
Hasty, — Elwood; Kate Prigg-Franspton, Mollie Rent- 
Brown, Pendleton; Rena Gipe-Prigg, Ella Prigg- 
Straddling, Muncie; May Prigg-Hodges, Martinsville; 
Emma Harrell-Ryan, Fayetteville; Maud Keesiing- 

Voung, Clvde Keesling- J udd. Shirlev; Lora McCur- 

ciy-Rodeca ! McKeesport , Pa.; Maggie Greenlee- 
s - 

Muterspaugh, Frankton; Dora Newkirk, Sioux Fallsj 

S. D.: Eva Keesling-Ross, Riverside, California; 

Dottie Pendleton- SCeesiiny, New York City; Ollie 

Newkirk- Newman. Streator, Illinois: Sarah Adatnson- 

- ' ■> 

Thompson, Montiv.v Dav-Sanders, Honev Creek. 


History oj Mcchanicsburg 


George Pendleton, who is a student at Purdue Univer- 
sity; Lawrence, Russell and Vieune Prigg, Arthur 
VanWinkle, who is preparing to enter medical col- 
lege; Winifred and Virgil VanWinkle, Amy Lewis, 
Virgie and Georgia Mau?y, Linnie and Ethel Kee.s- 
Ung, Bessie and Artemus Reed, Oliver Moore, Grace, 
Dot and Opal Zirkie, Mary Dasher, Mary Fa tic, 
Rosa and Charles Adams, Calvin Graham. 

We also claim the following young people from 
Pleasant Kill who attend church and Sunday-school 
here: Ada and Raymond Lewis. Osa and Hassel Bus- 
hong, Edward, Stanton, Clio, Grace, Gladys and 
Flossie Lewis and HersheJ Whistler. 

Wherever Mcchanicsburg ! s sons and daughters 
may roam they still have visions of a village 

"Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, 
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed: 
How often have I loitered o'er thy green. 
Where humble happiness endeared each scene! 
How often have I paused on every charm, 
The sheltered cot, the cultivated [arm, 
The never- failing brook, the busy mill, 
The decent church that topped the neighboring 


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